Do's and Don’ts After Knee Surgery In Old Age
Deciding to go for the knee replacement surgery in old age is a tough choice, considering the risks involved, the pain, discomfort, and the long period of recovery. Also, how you take care of your knee post surgery, is as essential as the surgery itself. Anything gone wrong can pose to be a challenge in your recovery and the results you were expecting.
What happens after knee surgery depends on the care taken to follow the prescribed medicines, diet, exercises, and therapies. Both the surgery and recovery varies from person to person, and majorly depends on the condition that led to the operation, and other factors like age, weight, and overall health condition. However, there are some things should be done and some which should be avoided at all costs.
Here is a list of a few dos and don’ts that are common to all, to help you speed up the recovery process.
1. Do Take the Doctor’s Advice Seriously
The first step towards speedy and successful recovery is your willingness to work hard, fight pain, and wanting to recover. Everything that your doctor prescribes has to be followed very carefully. The exercises might be painful and straining, but they are prescribed for your best. Try to develop a routine and try to stick with it. Take all the prescribed medicines and suggested diet so that you can recover with the maximum outcome.
2. Do Take Your Physiotherapy Sessions Seriously
Physical therapy is an essential part of your post-surgery recovery. Your therapy and exercise session should start the very next day of the surgery, in the hospital. A Physiotherapist will take care of the moves, and make sure you do them right. Twice every day or more, the PT should visit you, help you move your newly acquired muscles, and make them stronger. Also, these movements will help you recover, make your new knee stronger, restore movement, and help you walk sooner.
3. Exercising Post Surgery
Along with your PT sessions, the therapist will also prescribe you a few after knee replacement surgery exercises which should be performed in the other parts of the day, like walking. This is going to be painful and straining, but as long as you’re willing to get back on your foot, you will be able to recover from this phase. Your knee replacement recovery time will only become shorter if you take all these sessions seriously.
4. Heat and Cold Therapy
Swelling is bound to occur post surgery and may last for a few months. Regular icing, i.e., three to four times a day will drastically bring down the swelling. Once the swelling has reduced, based on your doctor’s or therapist’s advice, you can alternate between hot and cold therapy to ease stiffness and relax your knee muscles.
5. Other Important To-do things
- Diet- A healthy diet is s must. Fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients and vitamins should be taken, along with everything else prescribed by your doctor.
- Massage- Massaging can have therapeutic effects on the healing knee. It is an integral part of care after knee replacement surgery. Once the swelling has reduced, massage your knee to help your muscles become stronger, enhance blood circulation, and break up scar tissue.
- Rest- Recovery is challenging, and although you might want to get done with it sooner, it will take a good amount of time to heal. And therefore, resting is very important, too.
Things to Avoid- Don’ts
1. Avoid Putting Unnecessary Strain on the Knee
Straining your knee more than required can be risky. Lifting heavy weights is off the list until you completely recover. And, when you turn your direction, try to move your entire body instead of twisting your knee.
2. Don’t Walk Without A Walker Immediately After the Surgery
Walking is a great way to heal the knee. But doing so in the first few weeks, without the help of a walker, will put a great amount of pressure on our knee. This can aggravate pain and swelling.
3. Do Not Hide Your Pain
The surgery will induce chemical pain due to the trauma caused to your knee. This pain is hard to bear. If you’re in pain, take the pain killer prescribed by the doctor. Not doing so will only weaken your will power, instead of making it stronger.
4. Do Not Waste Time on Simple Exercises
Performing simple exercises may offer a sense of achievement because you’re working out. But, these exercises may delay your recovery and prolong the healing. Harder exercises are painful, but they have far-reaching effects.
5. Do Not Give Up
Recovery after knee replacement surgery is a long, painful, and challenging time period. While some might recover sooner, some may take reasonably long. Every ‘body’ is different, and so is yours. Give yourself the time you need, and every time you want to give up, think about how far you’ve come and ask yourself if all the pain you went through was for nothing. Be patient, and you will recover.
The knee replacement recovery time varies from a few months to a year, and special care has to be taken throughout this period. However, the majority of progress can be noticed in a few months. It is crucial that the necessary precautions are taken to maximize the after-effects of the surgery.